Invasive Species App

Inland Fisheries Ireland has created an exciting new smart phone app that is now available for free download from the Google Play and iTunes App stores. 

The easy to use and readily accessible ‘IFI – Invasive Species’ app will aid users in the identification of invasive species and permit them to take georeferenced photographs that will immediately be uploaded to the IFI server. The information so received will be reviewed, uploaded onto the IFI species database and, if the sighting is of something new or particularly worrying, will trigger an immediate rapid response and on-site survey by IFI staff.

IFI are hoping that as many people as possible will use this app and help them in its ongoing battle against Aquatic Invasive Species. For more details visit http://www.fisheriesireland.ie/Invasive-Species/invasive-species.html or go to the Google Play or iTunes store to get the app.

Information on Current Dredging

Dredging on the Grand Canal west of Portobello is well underway. Please see below for a project summary outlining the extent of the planned works.

Summary of Grand Canal Dredging Project
Waterways Ireland proposes to dredge the Grand Canal Circular Line from Lock 7 (Portobello Harbour) to the Lock 1 on the Main Line (LUAS crossing at the junction of Suir Road and Davitt Road).  Works are proposed to be executed under contract through the employment of  L&M Keating Ltd.

Programme
It is proposed that the works will commence in October 2012 and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2013.  Work will progress in a westerly direction working from Portobello to Suir Road.  The exact sequence of works will be determined to minimise the impact on the environment with removal of material off-site to cease in compliance with Dublin City Council’s Christmas ‘Free Flow’ traffic operation.

Proposed Method
The Contractor’s proposed method for undertaking the work will principally involve the following;

  • Partially dewater the canal and electro-fish by Inland Fisheries Ireland to remove the fish stock;
  • Completely remove all water from the working area, i.e. de-water the canal;
  • Partially lower the water level in the immediate upstream level {To assist with flow control in the event of heavy rain};
  • Establish access/egress to working areas at locations agreed with Waterways Ireland and Dublin City Council by a formal Traffic Management Plan;
  • Undertake a clean-up of the canal bed and locks by removing all general debris;
  • Excavate to original bed level of a 5m wide central strip using excavating machinery positioned on the canal bed;
  • Remove excavated material by truck to appropriately licensed facility.
  • Restore water and fish to the completed level.

It is important to note that this method may change depending on the appointed Contractor’s methodology and prevailing water level conditions.

Working Hours
The working hours for the contract will be in accordance with the Dublin City Council Development Plan (07.00-18.00hrs Mon-Friday, 08.00-14.00 Saturday) and will be subject to  the approval of Dublin City Council Traffic Noise and Air Quality Unit.

Material Removal
Material ideally will be transported directly from site to an approved licensed landfill site.  In the event that the material is unsuitable for immediate removal from site, it will be stockpiled within the confines of the canal where possible and on the banks of the canal to dry before removal from the site. This shall be for no more than one to two working days. The transportation of excavated material will be undertaken to an agreed traffic management plan, which will be fully compliant with the requirements of Dublin City Council.  All material will be disposed of to a suitable licensed facility.

Environment and Preservation of Canal and Structures
Waterways Ireland will ensure that the works are executed in a manner which preserves the habitat and heritage value of the canal, i.e. measures shall be undertaken to ensure protection of the canal fringe vegetation and avoidance of damage to the existing structures.

Extensive discussions have taken place with National Parks and Wildlife along with Inland Fisheries to establish an agreement on the method of working to ensure the impact of the works is minimised on the natural environment.

Nuisances

Vermin
The contractor will employ the services of a pest control company to control vermin from the vicinity of the canal prior to commencement and for the duration of site operations if required.

Noise
Noise nuisance will be reduced by both the restriction of working hours and the employment of noise suppressed generators if required.

Odour
Tests indicate that a large percentage of the material to be removed consists of inert material, with little organic material.  The issue of odour is therefore anticipated to be fairly minimal due to the fact of the small amount of organic material and the time of year that removal is occurring i.e. at cooler temperatures.  In previous experiences of the removal of canal material, odour was not an issue.

In all cases, potential nuisances will be closely monitored and acted on in the event of a problem throughout the duration of the contract.

Public Access
For their protection the public shall be excluded from the site at all times with access along the tow path to be maintained where possible.  All reasonable measures will be taken to maintain the integrity and continuity of the canal side walk during the works.

Contacts / Information
Waterways Ireland will appoint a representative on site (Resident Engineer) for  the duration of the Contract to deal with issues which may arise.  The Resident Engineer will be based in Dublin with a contact number advertised on information boards that will be displayed on site.

Dublin Biodiversity Audio Tour

The Dublin Biodiversity Audio Tour is well worth a visit – sponsored by the Dublin City of Science, this website brings together stories on 11 sites of interest to nature-lovers, from community gardens and city parks to collections in museums and botanic gardens. One of the most interesting sites included is, of course, the Grand Canal!

http://www.tcd.ie/tcbr/biodiversity-audiotour/